Miscellaneous Ramblings

Apple Clearing Out Old PowerBooks, Taking 5300 & 190 on Trade

Charles Moore - 9 April 1999 - Tip Jar

NOTE: This Miscellaneous Ramblings columnoriginally appeared on MacOpinion on April 9, 1999.It is republished here by permission of the author andMacOpinion.

This has been a singularly slow news week in the PowerBookworld, as we await the introduction of the new Lombard professional PowerBook. Nothingsignificant to report there except that PowerBook G3prices and deals continue to sweeten (see below) onG3 Series II 'Books as Applehustles to clear out the distribution channels.

However, check out my companion Road Warrior column this weekfor the second installment of my "Compleat Buyer's and Users' GuideTo PowerBooks," especially if you're considering a PowerBookpurchase soon.

I'm still using the old 5300,and I continue to marvel at how good a job it does, albeitsometimes a bit slowly. A glance at the trusty HoverBar shows thatI have 17 applications open as I type this - on a machine with 24MB of real RAM (doubled) that has not been restarted for a coupleof days.

However, I had my worst tussle with a software conflict in manya moon last Monday, after Nisus Writer, my workhorse (and normallyrock-stable) word processor, started crashing on startup. All theusual medicine did nothing to help. It was a very long day,involving a clean system reinstall, several utility diagnostics,and about 50 restarts. I finally tracked it down to the fact that Ihad turned off QuickTime Power Plug in the Extensions Manager in anattempt to trim the RAM System heap. The usual situation is that aconflict happens with certain extensions turned on, but I can'tremember encountering one because something totally irrelevant tothe affected program was turned off.

QuickTime 3 has never been a happy camper on this 5300, and italso has caused anomalies in the Sleep function. I'd be interestedin hearing from anyone else who has experienced these glitches in a5300. For the record, I'm running OS 8.1.

Anyway, I enabled QuickTime Power Plug again, and Nisus is backto its old self.

Upgrade Resource

PowerBook Central has published an excellent andcomprehensive resource on PowerBook upgrades, from the 100s to theG3 Series. Well worth a look if you have an older PowerBook thatneeds a dose of upgrade tonic.

Trade in your 5300 or 190 on a new G3 and get a $1,000allowance

O'Grady'sPowerPage is reporting that Apple Customer Relations will shaveup to US$1,000 off the purchase price of a new PowerBook G3 Series266 or 300 as a trade-in allowance on PowerBook 5300s and 190sonly.

Can we expect a lot of 5300s and 190s in the refurbishedchannels soon?

The eligible G3 PowerBooks are the following configurations:

  • 266/1MB-L2/64RAM/4GB HD/20xCD/10BT/56k/14" TFT/ US$1899
  • 300/1MB-L2/64RAM/8GB HD/20xCD/10BT/56k/14" TFT/US$2199

Being as the 5300/190 machines are getting a bit long in thetooth, and even the high-end 5300ce (the most expensive PowerBookever built) is selling for less than $1,000, this deal would appearto be a no-brainer decision if you can come up with thedifference.

O'Grady's says that to take advantage of this offer, proceed asfollows:

  1. Call Apple Customer Relations at 800-767-2775
  2. Mention the "PowerBook 5300 Limited Time Offer Upgrade"
  3. Apple will issue a case number
  4. Apple will send you a call tag to return your PowerBook 5300 or190
  5. Give Apple a credit card number (it won't be charged untilcomputer is shipped)
  6. Limited one per customer
  7. Apple is not responsible for any data or data transfer

Unfortunately, it appears that this deal is another instancewhere Canadians (and other non-US residents) are second-class Applecitizens. I tried the 800 number cited above and got the "you havedialed a number that cannot be reached from your area" (which is inCanada) recording.

Mac news from Singapore

My Singapore correspondent Tan Choon Hwa writes:

Dear Charles,

Things have certainly picked up in Singapore since we last 'heard'from each other.

Mac sales have increased quite a bit; judging by what my Mac dealertold me. All 300MHZ PBs have been sold out since the middle ofMarch and many customers are on the waiting list. Even PC shops inmy local IT mall have iMacs and PBs in them.

While Macs still serve a niche market, they are becoming morevisible and common to the masses - which is good.

I hope I will have more encouraging news to tell you the next timeI fill you in.

Looking forward to it Choon Hwa.

Cautionary note on external hard drives for PBs

Road Warrior reader Craig Spirko writes:

In your column on Fri. a Herb Schwartz was looking for a 2.5"drive case and I remembered I had purchased same but started usingZips at the time and never used it. I dug it out thinking I mightsend it along to someone who could use it but thought I'd try itfirst to see if it worked. Mistake. Immediately smoke startedwafting from my Duo SCSI Dock and it no longer functions. Yes, itwas the excuse I needed to buy a G3 PB (I don't suffer fromchemical sensitivity syndrome, knock wood) currently being sold atfire sale prices, from which I am writing you now.

Upshot: I don't recommend using a 2.5" drive case, certainly notwith a Duo Microdock.

Enjoy reading your column,

Craig

Thanks for the caveat, Craig.

Till next week.

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Charles Moore has been a freelance journalist since 1987 and began writing for Mac websites in May 1998. His The Road Warrior column was a regular feature on MacOpinion, he is news editor at Applelinks.com and a columnist at MacPrices.net. If you find his articles helpful, please consider making a donation to his tip jar.

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